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Wedding Invitation Wording & Etiquette Tips

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Here at Smitten on Paper, we look forward to helping you create a gorgeous wedding invitation suite.

Your wedding invitation wording should clearly communicate a few important details but also reflect the style of your wedding! We have included a few basic wedding etiquette tips below. If you have an etiquette question that is not answered here, please contact us.

  • Your wedding invitation should include the full names of you and your fiancé, the names of the hosts, and the date, location and time of the ceremony. Traditionally, middle names, dates and times are written out in full. However, numerals are becoming increasingly more common in contemporary wedding invitations.
  • If your ceremony is taking place in a church or other religious venue, it is appropriate to use the phrase “request the honor (or honour) of your presence.” For non-religious venues, common phrases include “request the pleasure of your company” or “invite you to share in the joy.”
  • If both the bride’s and the groom’s parents are hosting the wedding, the bride’s parents should be listed first.

Example (both sets of parents are hosting):

Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Roberts

and

Mr. and Mrs. Brian Thomas

request the honour of your presence

at the marriage of their children

Sarah Katherine Roberts

and

Matthew James Thomas

on Saturday, the sixth of September

at half past four o’clock in the afternoon

St. Joseph’s Church

Los Angeles, California

 

Example (bride's parents are hosting):

Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Roberts

request the honour of your presence

at the marriage of their daughter

Sarah Katherine

to

Mr. Matthew James Thomas

on Saturday, the sixth of September

at half past four o’clock in the afternoon

St. Joseph’s Church

Los Angeles, California

 

Example (groom's parents are hosting):

Mr. and Mrs. Brian Thomas

request the honour of your presence

at the marriage of

Sarah Katherine Roberts

to their son

Matthew James Thomas

on Saturday, the sixth of September

at half past four o’clock in the afternoon

St. Joseph’s Church

Los Angeles, California

 

  • If the wedding is hosted by a divorced set of parents, list the woman’s name on the first line and the man’s name below. Do not use the word “and,” which signifies that the man and woman are married.

Example:

Mrs. Michelle Roberts

Mr. Jonathan Roberts

request the honour of your presence

at the marriage of their daughter

Sarah Katherine

to

Mr. Matthew James Thomas

on Saturday, the sixth of September

at half past four o’clock in the afternoon

St. Joseph’s Church

Los Angeles, California

 

  • If the bride and groom are hosting the wedding themselves, they may choose to include the bride’s parents names or they may use the phrase “together with their parents.” For less formal weddings hosted by the bride and groom, some couples may choose to omit their parents’ names on the wedding invitations.

Example:

Sarah Katherine Roberts

and

Matthew James Thomas

request the pleasure of your company

as they unite in marriage

on Saturday, the sixth of September

at half past four o’clock in the afternoon

The Peninsula Hotel

Beverly Hills, California

 

  • Do not include registry information or any mention of gifts (even to ask guests not to bring gifts) anywhere in your wedding invitation suite. It is fine to include registry information on your wedding website, if you have one, or to ask relatives and friends to spread the word.
  • If your wedding reception is being held at the same location as your wedding ceremony, a separate reception card is not necessary – it is fine to note “Reception to follow” or “Dinner and dancing to follow” on the wedding invitation. If the reception card is being held at a different location than the ceremony, a separate reception card is recommended. If you are having a formal wedding and reception, you may indicate “Black tie” on your reception card, in smaller type.
  • Above all, remember that this is your wedding invitation, and it should reflect what’s right for you, your fiancé, and your families.